I’m a bit of a sucker for macaroni cheese and have loved it since I was a kid. Recently Steve went away for a week for work, which, for the sake of my sanity, proved to be the perfect time to try this recipe – I made it one of the first nights he was away and then the kids and I ate it every night for the rest of the week. Having long loved mac’n’cheese, I think I can safely say this is my favourite version of it – the ‘secret’ ingredient of chicken soup in the cheese sauce takes this family favourite to a new level. If you’ve got left-over barbeque chicken from Sunday lunch, this recipe is a great way to use it up. Quick and simple to make this recipe makes enough to serve 10 and costs around $12 to make.
- 500g uncooked elbow macaroni
- 3 rashers bacon, finely chopped
- 250g skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoon canola oil
- 2 tablespoon plain flour
- 3 cups milk
- 1 cup condensed cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup, undiluted
- 2 cups grated cheese + 1 cup extra
- 1 onion
- 1 capsicum, diced
- 1 can of corn kernels, drained
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius and cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.
- Cook bacon, onion and garlic in a large nonstick frypan over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving drippings in pan. Increase heat to medium-high. Add chicken to drippings in pan; sauté 6 minutes or until done.
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat; sprinkle flour evenly into pan. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk. Combine milk and soup, stirring with a whisk; gradually add milk mixture to saucepan, stirring with a whisk. Bring to the boil; cook 2 minutes or until thick. Remove from heat. Add cheese, capsicum, corn kernels, frozen peas and salt, stirring until cheese melts. Stir in pasta, two thirds of cooked bacon and chicken.
- Spoon mixture into a large roasting or lasagne dish coated with a little cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with reserved bacon and extra grated cheese. Bake in oven for 5-10 minutes or until cheese melts, but no longer or it will start to dry out.
I made this last night. SO YUM! Thanks so much for sharing Jane. I omitted the chicken out of convenience and just loaded it up with more veg.